What does intimacy mean to you?

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
What does intimacy mean to you?
Thu, 03-14-2013 - 4:42pm

I am finding that myself and SO are struggling with what these means to each of us.  IMO, he possibly had a somewhat imeshed relationship wiht his xW.  They had disfunctional families, and most members have passed away at this point.  It was the typical "all we have is eachother" scenario.  Family didn't babysit or help with most things you need family for.  No dad to help look at cars, no mom to go for advice, etc. etc.  

SO feels I am still hanging on to old stuff from my previous marriages, especially regarding the physcial abuse in my first marriage.  It has been over 20 years and I have never felt the need to go digging for issues to work on, but SO thinks it is holding me back from being more intimately honest, I guess you could call it, with him.  For those of you who don't know me, both xH's were alcholics, second xH also addited to meth.  I have been in recovery for over 14 years now.  

Not that 1st marriages are immune to this problem, but I think it is compounded with a second, or third marriage.

What are your thoughts?


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Fri, 03-15-2013 - 7:57am

I don't claim to know anything, but intimacy to me means being able to be your true self to your SO and not hold back.  Dh and I have that down, especially him.  There's not a feeling he has that I don't know about and he can be brutally honest at times, but I'd rather have him be that way than like my ex who didn't express his feelings at all...until the divorce.  I think when people don't tell their spouse or SO how they feel, they're holding back and intimacy lacks.  BUT, everyone's different and perhaps your SO should just accept that you are not HIM and you just are not the way he thinks you should be (or something like that). 

I agree though that this might be more of a problem in second or third marriage/relationship due to baggage from our past.  We get used to a certain way of relating to our SO/spouse and the new one needs something different from us.  Recently, dh talked to me about his unhappiness with his job and how it is in jeopardy.  I shut down, didn't talk and just listened because I didn't know what to say.  It scares me because he's the breadwinner and no way could we survive on just my income.  Anyway, he saw my reaction as "not supportive" when it was honestly just that I was scared and didn't want to voice that so said nothing at all.  So, we have to just keep the lines of communication open, or how would we ever know what our SO needs?  On the flip side, we mere humans are all different with different ways of handling things emotionally and either our SO accepts that about us or they don't and the relationship ends.  Marrying dh was risky with all his baggage, but I knew what I could accept and what I couldn't and moved on as he did.  That's not to say we LIKE everything about each other, but the love is strong enough to keep us going and accepting even the bad parts about each other. 

Sorry I got to rambling, but I hope you and SO figure this out, so you can both be happier.  I'm not sure if anyone can "let go" completely of their past and all it entailed, so maybe that's unreasonable, but we can move past it and learn from it.  I know my divorce was so horrible that I will never forget it, but I certainly learned some valuable life lessons.